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Plato tops second Snetterton practice

Jason Plato broke the Snetterton lap record to set the pace in the second British Touring Car Championship practice session, with second-placed Dave Newsham almost half a second behind.

MG’s Plato set a time of 1:57.569 to top the times, with his lap being over a second quicker than the qualifying lap record set in 2011 around the new Snetterton 300 circuit.

Team ES Racing’s Newsham was second fastest, once again showing impressive pace in the NGTC-powered S2000-spec Vauxhall Vectra. Scot Newsham will be hoping for a return to form this weekend after scoring just one top ten finish in the last six races.

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Andrew Jordan was the top Honda pilot in third, 0.675 seconds off Plato’s pace. A surprise fourth was the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis of Adam Morgan. The Lancashire racer has finished no higher than 13th so far this season, so will be hoping for his encouraging pace to continue throughout the weekend.

Fifth fastest was works Honda driver Matt Neal, albeit more than a second off the fastest time. Neal was in front of the two eBay Motors BMW’s of Tom Onslow-Cole and Rob Collard, who were sixth and seventh quickest respectively.

Completing the top ten was a trio of NGTC cars, headed by Daniel Welch in his Proton Persona. Rob Austin was ninth quickest, whilst Frank Wrathall finished the session in tenth and as the last driver within two seconds of the top time.

Mat Jackson finished the session 16th overall in the new Motorbase-built NGTC Ford Focus, whilst American Robb Holland, making his BTCC debut this weekend, finished the session 19th in his S2000 Honda Civic.

Tony Gilham, who is racing the Thorney Motorsport Vauxhall Insignia this weekend, was the slowest driver of all in 21st, 4.894 seconds off the pace.

Gordon Shedden was unable to participate in the session following a major fire on his Honda Civic in the morning’s first session.

Qualifying takes place at 1515 GMT on Saturday.

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